Mexico City Temple

Mexico City Temple

Monday, December 29, 2014

Ven a cantar que ya llegó la Navidad...[Dec. 29, 2014]


We had an interesting week this week with La Navidad and all. We spent Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) with some members in the evening where we drank punch and lit off fireworks in the house (actually, they were just the little sparklers but it reminded me that I am not in the States anymore). Afterwards, we went back to the apartment and got a text from the Zone Leaders that the President gave us permission to sleep in on Christmas given that we actually still did our studies.

On Christmas we had weekly planning and afterwards I called the family which was excellent to see them after so long. We also were at the Ward Mission Leader's house when he talked to his children that are on missions which was interesting as well. I have been in this área so long that I knew one of them before he left.

Two days later we had the Ward Christmas Party which ended up being a lot of fun and a lot of food. 

Anyways, have an excellent week with New Years and all!
élder Seymour.

Fun with fireworks

The christmas punch that we drank.
 It should be noted that
we drank it hot as is normal here.

We also ate a christmas crab...
I am definitely in México.

Mt Popo covered with snow.


Monday, December 22, 2014

¡50 years of missionaries in San Martín!...[Dec. 22, 2014]

This week we celebrated the 50 anniversary by doing a bit of community service, proselyting on Friday, and a show on Saturday. It was honestly quite a blast. I have a bunch of videos to show when I get back.

I also went on exchanges with the zone leaders again and left to their area. It was honestly quite difficult to leave the area this time because we had an incredibly important lesson planned out that unfortunately did not happen. But these things happen from time to time.

We also had the opportunity to help a less-active member put up her Christmas tree.

Hopefully I have a ton of things to talk about next week.
Have a great one!
élder Seymour.

A cake for the 15th birthday
of some young woman.

After we put up the Christmas tree.

Photo from the Program for 50 years.

I forgot to mention that
we celebrated the birthday
of one of the members in our ward
that is always super nice and supportive to us.

I am always weirded out
by all the strange fruits that exist here.

Monday, December 15, 2014

That Korihor guy makes a lot of sense...[Dec. 15, 2014]

Here we are in the disturbingly hot during the day but still pretty cold at night even though it is December place called San Martín. I keep expecting that the weather is going to change even though it never does.

The subject for this weeks email comes from one of our investigators in a lesson that we just had yesterday. He told us he was super interested in the reading in Alma 30. We were like, "Really, what did you like about it?" He replied, "I love that Korihor guy...what he said made a lot of sense." The lesson went downhill from there. The moral of the story is listen to the Prophets, they will not lead you astray.

My companion also had his other wisdom teeth taken out but with a faster recovery this time.

We also had the Christmas zone conference this week. I had forgotten how much I love to sing Christmas carols.

Well anyway have a great week!
elder Seymour.

The announcement that we put up
for the celebration of 50 years of Missionaries
in San Martín Texmelucan
that we will have this Saturday.

Other pair of Wisdom Teeth

My companion wearing
 one of the sister missionaries scarfs in our ward
as a skirt. He can be a little weird
at times if you couldn't tell.


Monday, December 8, 2014

Wisdom Teeth...[Dec. 8, 2014]


Well this week my companion had his wisdom teeth pulled out by a nice member of the Ward that happens to do that sort of thing. Directly afterward, he couldn't talk, and we had to count up the numbers for the month and send them to the stake. I ended up making some new words in sign language for spit and pain.

This month we will also be having a huge event here in San Martín - 50 years of missionaries here. Also, Christmas. Supposedly 40 missionaries will come to do service and later preach the góspel to the citzens that live here. I am excited to see how it goes.

Also, one of the investigators that lived in the sister missionaries' área moved to our área, so we are also quite excited about that.

I hope things go well for all of you as we move forward in life´s journey.
élder Seymour.
10 Months!!!!!!

My companions wisdom teeth...
we still have 2 more to go.

Graffiti recently done by
 a less active member
and some of his friends

Monday, December 1, 2014

Elder Toris...[Dec. 1, 2014]

Fun week!

I forgot to mention, but last week we had Jehovah's Witnesses knock on our door while we were out. We walked up to the door and waited there a second and they were like - wait you live here- to which we responded -yes- and they just sort of gave us a pamphlet on the family and left... I am still confused on why they always have umbrellas.

English class also went excellent this week. We finally had someone come who wasn't our converts... they were the investigators of the Hermanas. Hopefully things keep going well in the future.

The Crown jewel of this week would have to be the zone conference we had with one of the 70, élder Toris (Toriz?). One thing I liked that he talked about is that we should stop using muletillas (filler words) like um and like. He also talked a lot about working with the members and using the He is the Gift iniciative (él es la dádiva... kind of strange because almost no one knows that the Word dádiva means gift.).

I will stop right there for the momento. Have a superb week!
élder Seymour.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Rompimos la racha...[Nov. 24, 2014]

Excellent news this week: we had a baptism. Two of our investigators, María Elena and Tonio took a leap of faith and were baptized this last Saturday. This was the first baptism the ward has had for over a year.

Sometimes in our life, we experience something that leaves a profound impact on us. I think this was one of those moments. We struggled a long time to get to this point and i just feel so... connected. At times we can feel closer to our Heavenly Father's prescence and at other times, estranged.

On a bit of a lighter note, before the baptism, the church was out of gas - no gas, no hot water. Our bishop came with us at 6 in the morning to fill it up. Later, when we actually had the baptism, the water was a little bit hotter than usual - about spa temperature.

We didn't explain very well one crucial step of the baptism process to María Elena, so when she was baptized, she forgot to hold her breath and close her mouth so she came out of the water coughing, but we didn't have to do it again thankfully.

Although we are teaching the whole family, only the children were baptized for now because the parents still have to get married. This will be our main focus for this transfer. I know we can do it!

Also we received some startling news. A pair of investigators that we have had since I got here just told us that they aren't married... and one of them still has to get divorced :(. However, we also got news that we are both staying here on transfer more, so we will also focus on this.

Have a superb week and make sure to keep hope even in the darkest situations.
élder Seymour.

My companion and I
with María Elena and Tonio

My companion on the roof of the chapel...
we had to check the gas.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Traversing the city...[Nov. 17, 2014]

Well, another week down here in the dirty city as our zone leader likes to call it. Our investigators have been dropping like flies, so we spent a LOT of time walking. I am starting to wonder how I ever had difficulty hiking 22 miles in a day. That seems to be a pretty normal day recently for us.

Despite a great lack of investigators, we have planned two baptisms this Saturday. They are a family, but we can't baptize the parents until they get married and they just aren't ready yet. I will talk more about them after the baptism.

I cannot think of anything else that happened this week, so I will leave it off there.

Have an excellent week!
élder Seymour.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Cuahutémoc...[Nov. 10, 2014]


I find myself at the end of another week and wonder how they go by so fast.

Some interesting things that happened this week:

I got my flu shot. I also found out that my companion is super afraid of needles. It took the mission doctor that lives in our area 10 minutes to convince him to just let it happen.

I had divisions with the zone leaders. I guess it really isn't all that exciting, but we only have it once a change.

We went to Cuahutémoc for the first time. It is part of our area that is even farther away than Tlahuapan. There is only one less active member that lives out there and we tried to convince her to start coming to church again. We also got several kilos of pear out of it.

At one point when we were with the members in a meeting about an activity they were planning, I felt that we were needed elsewhere, so we left and walked as I thought about where it was exactly that we were needed. At one point, I felt like we should talk to some people on the street. They didn't want us to pass by their house and give lessons, but they said that they would come to church next week. I really hope they do.

Sometimes the things that we want in our life is different than what God wants us to have. This doesn't always mean that we will be successful and happy, but we can learn to follow Him no matter what it is and trust in the future.

Have an excellent week!
élder Seymour.

9 Months.

Cement on shoe.

Picking pears in Cuahutémoc.

Part of our area is in Tlaxcala.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Dead Days...[Nov. 3, 2014]

This past week México celebrated days of the dead and Halloween. It is quite an experience.

Halloween here is technically one night, but the children ask candy from everyone (this includes people on the Street as well) several nights in a row. As we are quite often in the streets, we got asked for candy quite a bit. Unfortunately for them, we almost never carry around candy with us.

Days of the dead is also super interesting. Although none of the active members celebrate it, we have some investigators that do. Apparently, it is a Catholic holiday here in México where the spirits of their dead relatives leave the spirit world and enter into their homes for a few days. They put some kind of orange flower petals outside of their house to lead the spirit to an offering they make of special types of bread they only make right now, different fruits, and water. They also put lit candles and a picture next to the offering.

One of our investigators also taught us some words in Spanish sign language, so now I can claim I know a little bit when I get back home.

I also had cement thrown on me for the first time this week. We were walking under a house that was under contruction and even though there was no cement under our feet, someone threw cement down below and it happened to land on me. It led to us going back to the house so I could change quickly before the next appointment. The funny thing is that it actually happened 2 times this past week and not a single drop got on my companion.

Also, the missionary work here is slowing down even though we are pushing harder than ever before. At times, it seems as if we aren't really doing much, but I think we only need to put our trust in the Lord and go forward until the success comes.

I'm afraid that I will let you down again with pictures. There is something seriously wrong with these computers

Have an excellent week!
élder Seymour.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Antorchísima...[Oct. 27, 2014]

Well, we had quite a short week, I feel. Not a whole ton happened until Saturday. On Saturday we didn't have a single appointment. This led us to wandering around the street looking for people to teach after the english class that no one came to.

However, I am so glad that we had this opportunity to wander around. If not, we wouldn't have gone to a colonia that we've never been to before called antorchísima. It was a goldmine.

Once we got there, we looked for some less-active members that live by there. As we did this, we talked to a bunch of people on the street and every single one accepted the invitation to hear the gospel. We also met some super nice slightly drunk guatemalans that also wanted to hear our message.

Once we finally got to the less-active members, we had an interesting experience. Basically we talked with the member outside her house and she said she didn't want us to pass by because she claims to be catholic now. As we were talking, her husband came out and greeted us super friendly. He said, let's go inside and talk about your message. His wife did not have it worth anything. We ended up awkwardly leaving. Throughout this entire experience, I felt the love of God for her so strong and I was so disappointed that she wouldn't even open her heart a crack to let God in.

Sorry I don't have photos this week, the computer is acting strange.

Have an excellent week!
élder Seymour.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Same old, some new...[Oct. 20, 2014]


Well, this week we had a few interesting things happen.

First, we had the first zone meeting that our zone has had in several changes... perhaps because I asked when we were going to have one a couple of weeks ago. It involved one of the members of the high council in charge of missionary work talk to us about how to be better at gaining the trust of the members, because that is a bit of a problem in our zone.

Next, we had an excellent first lesson with a contact. The only thing is that she is still married with another person that lives far away, and they never got divorced. I have never heard of anyone getting baptized in this situation, but I also believe in miracles, so we will see what will happen.

We actually have a family that comes to church every week which is something that we have never had before, so I am super excited to see them progress.

That about wraps up the week, so here's to another great one!

élder Seymour.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Soccer returns...[Oct. 13, 2014]

Hola todos,
This week brings another round of changes. However, I will be staying in the same area with my same companion, so everything is basically going to be the same. How grateful I am for that.

This new change will commence a new beginning, so to speak, in the work of salvation in this area. We are going to focus a lot more on having charity with all people and thus add a strong purpose and foundation to everything that we do as missionaries.

Sometimes it gets a little difficult in our area; especially since we don't have very many committed investigators. We often spend hours and hours in the streets because we don't have anyone to meet with. I've noticed that sometimes this gets my companion down a bit. For this, we decided to focus on developing charity. When we have it, although we still get disappointed at times, we feel happy to be able to do it.

We played soccer today for the first time in several months. It was quite fun and I didn't get injured.

Sometimes we look at someone else and see all their great attributes and want to emulate them, but I think that we really just need to focus on developing our own talents and work on those. That isn't to say that we can't overcome our faults. If we say that, we deny the reality and power of the Atonement. I am simply saying that at times we look at all the gifts that others have and ignore the fact that we have received great gifts, we just need to use them.

Have an excellent week!
élder Seymour.

Turtle at the edge of
one of the most filthy rivers
I have ever seen.

Closeup of turtle.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Half Moon...[Oct. 6, 2014]

Hola mis cuates,

Well, I learned how to make handmade flour tortillas from my companion. Now when I get back, I can forget how bad all of the earlier attempts at home were. You just have to use hot water with the flour and add vegetable fat (crisco - about 1/3 cup for every pound of flour). Also you have to flatten the tortillas with a rolling pin until they are almost paper thin.

Well, I got to see conference in english again. However, this time the internet was a little bad so we had some buffering pauses on occassion. It was especially awkward in the middle of a prayer... kinda ruined the spirit, but that´s life. One of the great things that I learned was the need to take responsibility and stop laying blame for things you could even slightly control, but didn´t. Frankly I could be doing a lot better in that respect.

Now I should probably explain the title a bit. One late afternoon as we were walking outside, I looked at the sky and noticed how the moon was half full. I thought about it a bit and it struck me how awkward a half moon really is. It´s not really pretty to look at or anything half full, it is just there. It is neither crescent nor almost full, just somewhere in between. I think we all feel like that at times. Not full, not empty, just there. However, with the half moon is the promise that this will not last forever. In fact, it really is just a tiny stage out of all the time that we have here. Even if you do feel useless, you won't be for long.

I hope we can all look forward to those great moments we do have, but even more important, I hope we can enjoy the moments we are currently in and simply live and learn.

Have a great week!
élder Seymour.

Half Moon
Ward Activity

8 Months

Finally found my name
on a full one

Making the dough

Flattening the tortillas...
 we didn't have a rolling pin!

Ready to cook...
...and cooking

Monday, September 29, 2014

A little bit 'bout humility...[Sept. 29, 2014]


Had another week that went by fairly quick. Unfortunately, I don't have very many photos this week, but hopefully I can make it up with stories.

Just yesterday I gave my first talk in this ward. My companion said that it is difficult to get members to let us help them. I just said, "Let me take care of it."

I talked with the bishop that happened to be in the church when we gave our first English class here (I'll talk about that in a minute). I asked him if I could give a talk that Sunday, and he graciously allowed me to.

I had my main topic be about humility and just sort of went from there. I shared a story about how when I was in my last area with élder Suárez, we were riding in a combi with some members going to church. There weren't enough seats to sit down, so we had to stand. One of the members asked me if she could carry my bag as we were going to the church. I said, "No thanks, I'm fine." My companion scolded me saying that this is not humility. When we are humble, we accept the help of others. I related this to, as missionaries, we are called to help the people that we serve, but we can't do this if they do not have sufficient humility to accept it. I finished by reading Alma 5:28 and explaining that if we don't have this humility, we are not ready to return to God. It is an essential Christlike attribute that we all need.

In the English class, we waited for almost half an hour for anyone to come. We previously had invited several people who promised they would come. I silently prayed to Heavenly Father that if no one else, just one person would come. About 10 minutes later, we had someone show up that apologized for being late.

Well, in other news, I saw the Mexican version of Jimmy (my brother-in-law) on the street, but I didn't get the chance to talk to him because we were running late.

Friday, we had a fireside with the mission president. Even though we had invited investigators to come, they flaked out. We got there, listened, ate cookies, and came back. As we came back, the sister missionaries were talking about how they got out here. Every one of them had finished college before they left. It made me think a little about priorities and how I had got out here myself. At any rate, I didn't leave at the most convenient time of my life, but I know with all of my heart that I left exactly when the Lord wanted me to. Not a moment sooner or later.

Well, have a great week!
élder Seymour.

I learned how to make a drink with
Guayaba (guava)

Monday, September 22, 2014

That would be 20 candles now?...[Sept. 22, 2014]

Happy birthday to me... sorry for the photo surge.

We had a pretty good week this week. One of our investigators, that more or less said she would never be able to come to church, actually came this week. I was super excited! Our ward hasn't had a convert baptism in almost an entire year, so it is great to see that we are starting to gain some traction in that aspect.

I finally got to go to the tianguis today and it is huge. It would take at least 10-15 minutes to walk from one end to another. I ended up buying a new pair of mexican looking shoes and some slippers that looked comfortable. Also got a nice looking tie for 30 pesos.

A group of our investigators work in a shop that is basically Mens Wearhouse. They found out it was my birthday and got me a tie.

It is nice to finally say that I am no longer a teenager, but that also means that I would have to claim myself as an adult...

This week I also went on interchanges with the zone leaders on the 16th... oddly enough, even though it was the Revolution and everything, almost no one was in the streets.

We had a zone conference on Wednesday where we learned more about the Atonement and how to teach more powerfully. I asked a question related to what glory is exactly and I still don't know... oh well.

Have a great week!
Elder Seymour.

Yup, I can catch flies now!

One of the coolest houses.

Tuna with peel.

Tuna without peel.

A gordita... flour tortillas
don't really exist here.

My companion
élder Compea.

Finally found my name...
on an empty bottle.

A less active member
has a pet crocodile.

The only bus I've ever rode in
that has a TV
They sometimes play the
music videos
 that go with the songs.

Mt. Popocatépetl.

Waste Management.

A prickly pear cactus
loaded with tuna.

Outside a member's house
in Tlahuapan.

Down one of the roads
in Tlahuapan.

Tlahuapan...[Sept. 15, 2014]

Some good news, I took about 10 different photos on my camera about cool things that I saw.
Some bad news, I don't have my SD card adapter and the slot on this computer doesn't work.

I went to one of my new favorite places on earth. It is called Tlahuapan (Tlah-wah-pahn). One might ask why it is one of my favorite places and I guess because it is a lot like my house. There are a lot more trees and a lot less cars. There is also an unlimited supply of tuna(the fruit not the fish) which has become one of my favorite things to eat.

One of the members that lives there has my favorite house that I have been in since I got here. Another member that lives there has a house that I already went to in a dream before I got here (that was kinda cool, but weird). I have pictures, but I still can't send them until next week. :(

In other awesome news, I finally learned how to catch flies barehanded... super useful skill here. As far as I know, I am still the only one of his companions that ended up being able to do it. I have evidence in another photo... oh well.

One of our investigators told us of a dream that he had where he was with his mom on some sort of trail and we passed by him going on the trail up to the mountain. His mom asked him if he was going to go with us and he said no... I really hope this dream doesn't come true.

I also ate gorditas today. Basically there are tortillas stuffed with refried black beans with salsa and cheese on top.

Hope you all have an excellent week!

Élder Seymour.

Monday, September 8, 2014

New area, new companion, new world...[Sept. 8, 2014]

Hola todo,

Well... I am now living in San Martín Texmelucan with my companion Elder Compean. Interestingly enough, my trainer said that I would eventually go here... and here I am.

There are a lot of things different about this area. Perhaps most interesting is that it is much more like the U.S. here than in my last area. The religious distribution, that is, how many Catholics, Mormons, Baptists, Jehovahs Witnesses, etc. there are here, is very similar to the US as in there are much more Protestant Christians and not as many Catholics.

Waste Management here is a guy that has a cart pulled by a horse that people throw garbage in.

Our apartment is twice as big as my last one. Forgive me for not having pictures, I will get those out next week.

We are also very close to the Tianguis de San Martín. It is the biggest Tianguis in the world as far as I know, and they have a bunch of cheap stuff to buy. It basically is an enormous marketplace. There is a wrinkle though: it only has everything on Tuesdays and our P-day is on Monday.

My companion is also super awesome. Sometimes it is a little difficult because the work is a lot harder here than in my last area. You just have to keep going and do what you can along the way.

I hope you have a great week!
Élder Seymour.

Two investigators that
I left behind.
They are the parents of Mayra.

Mt. Popocatépetl.
We are a lot closer to it now.

La Mujer Dormida also a lot closer.
7 Months!!!